About Farm Women's Symposium
As a recognized non-profit organization, we are highly supported by many key agricultural businesses and commodity organizations. Activities are planned and the organization is governed by a 100% volunteer committee made up of women of agriculture spanning the State of Michigan.
Debbie Rasmussen, Sheridan, MI
Debbie is originally from South Carolina. She never imagined living so far north let alone on a Dairy farm. She met and married her husband, Wes, a farm boy from Michigan, while they were both in the US Navy and stationed in Rota, Spain. They came to the farm after they got out of the service where hubby worked. Debbie got her degree in nursing. A whole new world for this southern city girl. They have 3 grown children, a daughter, Katie, in Arizona, a daughter, Laura, in North Carolina and a son, Matt, that just retired from 20 yrs. in the US Navy. They always felt so blessed to be able to raise their family on the farm for the last 42 yrs., with so many other family members nearby. The cows and the in-laws are all gone now so they rented their land to a neighbor who her hubby works part-time for, he is the hired man and the landlord. Debbie is semi-retired but triages phone calls for a home care agency. Since they are semi-retired they have more time to travel and spend time with their “perfect” grandchildren.
Kimberly Clunis, Pinconning, MI
5th Member & Chair Promotions
Emelee Rajzer, Decatur, MI
Most people refer to me as Kimba but my name is Kimberly Clunis. I was born and raised around Flint. I’m the true story of a City Girl turned Country.
I started FWS in 2004 when it was in Frankenmuth. I have not missed a year since. I was a Dairy Farmer. I could talk about my life as a Farmer and have people understand. I have met so many women who are now my close friends. I have created wonderful friendships because of FWS.
Emelee's passion for agriculture started at a very young age, with having a small greenhouse and helping with harvest at her grandparent's fruit farm. A graduate of MSU, with a B. S. in horticulture, Emelee went to work for MSU Extension, as a Horticulture Agent and began working with GreenStone Farm Credit Services in 2006. Emelee, her husband and sons, help on the family farm, greenhouse and farm market in Decatur.
Wanda Skinner, Ubly, MI
Born and raised in Michigan, the Harbor Beach native graduated from Baker College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration majoring in marketing and management. For the past 11 years Wanda Skinner has worked at GreenStone Farm Credit Services serving the rural thumb area. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading and crafting. She also frequently volunteers for many local organizations. Wanda and her husband Jeff of 20 years currently resides in Ubly, Michigan
Secretary & Program Chair
Shari Konkel, Branch, MI
Shari Konkel was born and raised on a dairy farm in Hesperia MI, where she was active in 4-H, got an Animal Science degree from MSU, involved in a farrow-to-finish hog operation with her husband Frank for 10 years before taking on her brother Lance as partner, and in 1993 expanding and building a new dairy complex they called "Silver Sky" across the road from her folks, eventually buying them out. After raising five children, none who were interested in taking over the 325-cow herd and 900+ acre farm, they decided to retire early, sold the cows in 2014, leased the farm, and moved an hour northwest to a house on the Pere Marquette River deep in the Manistee Nat'l Forest. They had a huge renovation/addition project in 2016, are enjoying retirement, and keeping tabs on their kids, Frank R., Talon (both in Fairfax VA/work in DC); Gavin (Chicago); Bronwyn (works at GM/Warren); and Broderick (at WMU). Frank also has a daughter, Katie Smallegan, who lives with her family in Grant.
Meet the Rest of our Committee
Planning: Leslie Daenzer, Christina Gelder, Sandy Maynard, Barb Miller, Sheryl Oswalt, Julie Schwab and Alecia Storms
Advisory: Keri Bancroft, Louise Courter, Diane Loew, Brenda Netzley, Angela Poirier, Beverly Ransler and Agnes Talaski
Most of our committee members are pictured above as we cut our 25th Anniversary cake in 2016. Committee members, in addition to those mentioned above include: ADD